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Scientists Expect Pockets Of Zika Outbreaks Around The State

Florida Department of Health
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

  Now that Zika is being transmitted in Florida, epidemiologists expect to see pockets of Zika outbreaks to crop up around the state.

Scientists believe the virus is spreading through mosquitoes in Miami. So far 15 people within in one neighborhood have been infected.

Infectious disease experts say the outbreaks will appear in clusters, rather than spread slowly across the state.

Dr. Beata Casañas specializes in infectious diseases at the University of South Florida’s medical school. As with other mosquito-borne illnesses, she says mosquito control and education efforts will quickly eradicate the outbreaks.

"Based on our experience with similar viruses, we have been quite successful with diagnosing and eradicating small pockets of infection, as we call them the impacted areas or small case clusters just by being vigilant," Casañas said.

Also, she says mosquitoes can't fly much more than 150 yards. In order for Zika to spread, an infected person would have to carry the virus to a new location and then be bitten by a mosquito.  

Julio Ochoa is editor of Health News Florida.